The science & engineering of
dynamic & dexterous movement
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UC San Diego


We aim to further the scientific understanding of movement and manipulation in biological systems and to apply this knowledge towards new engineering paradigms in robot design, fabrication, and control. To accomplish this we work at the intersections of robotics, physics, and biology. Our current focus is on movement and manipulation in milli-scale robot and biological systems. We develop new fabrication techniques for construction of robots at millimeter scales. Experiments with agile and dexterous organisms can aid in developing intuition and understanding of effective movement strategies at small scales.

  • Micro-robotics fabrication
  • Mechanism design for stable, dynamic movement
  • Biomechanics of rapid flight maneuvers
  • Manipulation in biology
  • Swarm robots and biology
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  • 18 April 2017

    Our workshop Robotics-inspired biology has been accepted to IROS (28% workshop acceptance rate!). This workshop will be a full day of active discussion among robotics and biology researchers to explore research at this interface.

  • 12 April 2017

    We have received funding from the Army Research Office for a postdoctoral position to study low-mass legged locomotion. Interested applicants can learn more here

  • 11 January 2017

    I will be giving the biomechanics seminar at UCSD MAE on 1-12-2017. Location, SME, Room 248. Looking forward to seeing everyone!

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Postdoc opening: The Gravish lab is recruiting a postdoctoral researcher to study legged mobility in milliscale biological and robotic systems. Specific tasks will be design and carry out experiments to measure kinematics and forces of running insects. Observations will be supplemented by design and experiments on at-scale legged robot platforms. For more information please email PI Gravish.
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Recent papers

29. A biologically inspired, flapping wing, hybrid aerial-aquatic microrobot. Y Chen, H Wang, EF Helbling, N Jafferis, R Zufferey, A Ong, K Ma, N Gravish, P Chirarattananon, M Kovac, RJ Wood. 2017.    (In review).       Journal                     
28. Wings as impellers: Honey bees co-opt flight system to induce nest ventilation and disperse pheremones. JM Peters, N Gravish, SA Combes. Journal of Experimental Biology. 2017.    (Accepted).       Journal                     
27. Anomalous yaw torque generation from passively pitching wings. N Gravish, RJ Wood. Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2016 IEEE International Conference on. 2016.       Conference    PDF:                    
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